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[P]
Geeks against Guns, anyone?

By oxidised in News
Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 10:21:03 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Is anyone interested in establishing a Geeks against Guns (GaG) website to articulate the case for gun control and to make the point that not all geeks are right-wing libertarians and anarchists (some of us are left-wing libertarians and anarchists ;-). It would be very useful to have a website which could be referenced every time publicity for Geeks with Guns (GwG) appears - at the moment there does not appear to be anything anywhere which puts the contrary case. Indeed, we could even ask Mr Raymond to link to the GaG page from his GwG page, since the GaG page would obviously be referencing GwG as its raison d'etre.


The site could also encourage GaG sympathisers to write to (or rather, email) all of the board members of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and VA Linux (Eric S Raymond is a high profile board member of both of these organisations, and the chairperson of the board of the former) suggesting that:

  • Mr Raymond ceases-and-desists his public pro-gun activities (such as the GwG events and his pro-gun ownership pages which are juxtaposed to the widely-read open source writings on his personal web site)
  • OSI and VA Linux each issue statements dissociating themselves from Mr Raymond's unfortunate political views and (IMO) rather puerile hobby.

The GaG web site might also offer some unsolicited suggestions for alternative pursuits for geeks who like to get their jollies from explosively propelled projectiles. Model rocketry looks like fun and doesn't appear to be associated with homicide, suicide, genocide, armed robbery, high school massacres and so on as guns so often are.

If you are interested, please reply to this message indicating interest in the title of your reply.

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Geeks against Guns, anyone? | 141 comments (141 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
What about GeeksWithNerfGuns? ... (3.00 / 5) (#30)
by tjansen on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 06:34:57 AM EST

tjansen voted 1 on this story.

What about GeeksWithNerfGuns?

Re: What about GeeksWithNerfGuns? ... (none / 0) (#51)
by oxidised on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:34:12 PM EST

What about GeeksWithNerfGuns?

They fire those foam rubber thingies, don't they? They sound cool. As are nearly all forms of water pistol and Super Soakers. I'd draw the line at rubber bullets and water cannons, even though I've never been to Seattle.
Sincerely, Oxidised.
[ Parent ]

Re: What about GeeksWithNerfGuns? ... (none / 0) (#67)
by duxup on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 02:24:54 AM EST

I myself own several Nerf weapons and will die fighting for my right to own them. I find them terribly necessary in defending myself at an ever increasing dangerous work place. As the time of my post would indicate working late nights often makes me somewhat concerned about how safe I am from other coworkers.

Often after being up all hours of the night and consuming mass quantities of cola I, my coworkers, or both begin to get a bit gitty and must blow off some steam and Nerf is indeed the best way to go!

For those wondering I personally recommend the "Wildfire" for maximum rate of fire in cube to cube fighting! Nerfcenter.com is a great place to research your weapon choices.

[ Parent ]
or Geeks with Paint Guns (none / 0) (#110)
by rusty on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 01:29:52 PM EST

...for geek paintballers. Speaking of which, any one going to YAPC? Saturday is the YAPC 19100 paintball extravaganza, and me and my Spyder will be there. >:-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Americans are crazy! Definetly. ... (1.00 / 1) (#41)
by typo on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 06:58:51 AM EST

typo voted 1 on this story.

Americans are crazy! Definetly.

Re: Americans are crazy! Definetly. ... (1.00 / 1) (#52)
by oxidised on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:42:14 PM EST

Americans are crazy! Definetly.

None of the Americans I know personally are crazy but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that a sizable minority of the US populace adhere to certain beliefs about freedom, their political heritage and the vicissitudes of their system of government which have some unfortunate consequences.
Sincerely, Oxidised.
[ Parent ]

Re: Americans are crazy! Definetly. ... (none / 0) (#66)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 01:51:14 AM EST

America is a great country, however a couple of things instil fear into me :-

1. the perception (fact?) that all the rednecks in Arkansas are all inbread.

2. Lunatics with AK47's, "I'm gonna shoot me a deer" (like anything would be left of the poor beast).

3. And Springer (need I say more) ?

4. A certain arrogance even amogst the most open minded Americans, i.e. denial of the fact that life is just as good in other places beside the US, and the fact other countries are just as innovative and capable of creating such technologies as the Radio, Television, Telephone, the steam engine? come to mind, and even Packet Switching believe it or not.

5. Oh yeah, and infomercials, do people fall for that crap? Nobody could be that gullible ... could they?


This isn't a flame ... just an observation, nowhere is perfect, I could make equally valid judgements against many other countries too.

People have the right to be patriotic, but it makes me laugh when somebody has put their own country on an ivory tower because they've become so blinded by their own ignorance.


[ Parent ]
I am very interested in this idea. ... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
by Dacta on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 07:16:39 AM EST

Dacta voted 1 on this story.

I am very interested in this idea. While I'm not too sure I support all your ideas (ESR should be allowed to write what he wants on his personal website, as far as I'm concerned), I do agree that the message needs to get out that not all geeks are right-wing libertarians and anarchists.

I'm not too sure the tone of your proposal helps much, though.

Re: I am very interested in this idea. ... (none / 0) (#53)
by oxidised on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:47:11 PM EST

I am very interested in this idea. While I'm not too sure I support all your ideas (ESR should be allowed to write what he wants on his personal website, as far as I'm concerned), I do agree that the message needs to get out that not all geeks are right-wing libertarians and anarchists.

I agree that he should be allowed to put whatever he wants on his personal website but it should not be in close proximity (e.g. linked via a common site map) with the authorative copies of some of the most influential and oft-cited papers on the open source movement.

I'm not too sure the tone of your proposal helps much, though.

Yeah, I'm over the anger now and will try to adopt a more level tone in future.
Sincerely, Oxidised.
[ Parent ]

Okay when there is an opinion out t... (2.00 / 1) (#23)
by Commienst on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 07:56:15 AM EST

Commienst voted -1 on this story.

Okay when there is an opinion out there someone does not like I am sick of people trying to pass it on to Kuro5hin. If there is an opinion you do not like sometimes if it is an unpopular opinion (like geeks with guns) then use your judgement, DO NOT help to proliferate it. Honestly I never heard of geeks with guns till I read it here a while ago and I still can not find it in me to give a shit about it.

Guns don't kill people, it is the s... (none / 0) (#31)
by deimos on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 09:26:28 AM EST

deimos voted -1 on this story.

Guns don't kill people, it is the shooter behind them.
irc.kuro5hin.org: Good Monkeys, Great Typewriters.

Re: Guns don't kill people, it is the s... (none / 0) (#74)
by oxidised on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 03:37:23 AM EST

Ding! (Sound of Pavlov's bell...)

deimos writes: Guns don't kill people, it is the shooter behind them.

Ah yes, that old chestnut. The problem with this assertion is that it is only partly true. Guns, by themselves, are indeed just lumps of inanimate metal (and plastic?). It is the combination of guns plus people some of who occasionally operate them unwisely which manifestly results in a rather large number of homicide and suicide deaths in many countries each year. Now we can't remove the people. We can try to teach people who possess guns that they should never operate them unwisely, but anger, fear, hatred, greed, chemically induced confusion, plain stupidity or other emotional or mental states are often present in the shooter when guns are aimed at someone else and these are not that amenable to education. So that leaves the guns.
Sincerely, Oxidised.
[ Parent ]

Re: Guns don't kill people, it is the s... (none / 0) (#92)
by Doug Loss on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 08:33:37 AM EST

Exactly the same argument can be made about automobiles. Should we get rid of them too?

[ Parent ]
Re: Guns don't kill people, it is the s... (none / 0) (#85)
by WWWWolf on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 07:03:51 AM EST

Guns don't kill people, it's just the noise they make...

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


[ Parent ]
I had a (IMO) pretty good sarcastic... (3.00 / 1) (#7)
by Pelorat on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 09:35:00 AM EST

Pelorat voted 0 on this story.

I had a (IMO) pretty good sarcastic response written, but I'm not gonna post it cos I don't want to contribute to the flamewar that this is inevitably going to produce.

Sure, if it means that much to you, bust out the HTML editor. I don't agree with your position, and I'll leave it at that. Good luck with it.

Another excellent idea. Many people... (none / 0) (#24)
by tidepool on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 09:35:02 AM EST

tidepool voted 1 on this story.

Another excellent idea. Many people may see this as some sort of jabbing towards ESR and his cause. In my world, it is not anything of the sort. He has his ideals / goals - and others may not share them.

I am very interested in this cause - I'd be verymuchso interested in working on the site or hosting it on one of the domains that I have access to. If the author is interested in this help - please email me: brewer (at) kripto.org

Thanks

Ahhh... what does this have to do w... (1.00 / 1) (#4)
by PrettyBoyTim on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 09:46:04 AM EST

PrettyBoyTim voted -1 on this story.

Ahhh... what does this have to do with geeks/ techheads? I think maybe I'll start up a group called 'Geeks for the greater appreciation of Pesto' and post it to K5...

Re: Ahhh... what does this have to do w... (none / 0) (#91)
by Doug Loss on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 08:31:56 AM EST

I love pesto. Let's do it!



[ Parent ]
I've no great sympathy for the knee... (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by marlowe on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 10:05:11 AM EST

marlowe voted -1 on this story.

I've no great sympathy for the knee-jerks on either side of this one.
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --

Geeks Against Freedom, anyone?... (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by the Epopt on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 10:26:42 AM EST

the Epopt voted -1 on this story.

Geeks Against Freedom, anyone?


--  
Most people who need to be shot need to be shot soon and a lot.
Very few people need to be shot later or just a little.

K5_Arguing_HOWTO
Re: Geeks Against Freedom, anyone?... (none / 0) (#76)
by farlukar on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 03:44:05 AM EST

In what way is your (or anyones) freedom restricted by people yelling they hate guns?
I thought that was just part of freedom of speech, but probably "freedom" is a too flexible expression that can be bent into a shape that suits you best.

(Besides that, I think any "Geeks with/against <insert yr fave non-geek-related issue here>" is crap)
______________________
$ make install not war

[ Parent ]
Re: Geeks Against Freedom, anyone?... (none / 0) (#120)
by Potsy on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 07:31:59 PM EST

I believe the poster was referring to the fact that the proposed group's goals are basically to shut ESR up and keep him from expressing his views.

Take a look at the #1 goal listed in the original story:

Mr Raymond ceases-and-desists his public pro-gun activities

If the GaG proposal were merely advocating expressing their own views, that would be fine and dandy, but that's not what it says! It actually states as a goal the limiting of someone else's expression of their viewpoint!

Interestingly, you accuse the poster of trying to limit someone else's speech, and yet that's what he's complaining about.

[ Parent ]

rE: Geeks Against Freedom, anyone?... (none / 0) (#129)
by farlukar on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 03:21:06 AM EST

Hmmm.. you're right I guess.
I just thought OSI and VALinux should be smart enough to redirect such requests to /dev/null, so the GaG can whine as much as they like.

Anyway, I made a misjudgement in this case (shame on me), but I still think the term "freedom" is often misused in discussions
______________________
$ make install not war

[ Parent ]
Re: rE: Geeks Against Freedom, anyone?... (none / 0) (#131)
by Potsy on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 06:40:09 AM EST

Well, I think you're probably right that OSI and VALinux would ignore requests from a group like GaG. But then again, sometimes complaints, protests, and campaigns can be quite effective, especially when a company senses that a non-response might generate bad PR. If a lot of people were behind such requests, they might pay attention.

Of course, I'm not really all that concerned about just taking ESR's view out of certain forums. But the original story seems to be advocating an outright ban on his opinions, which is clearly wrong.

I agree with you that the word "freedom" is often misapplied in emotionally charged discussions like this. And actually, I think I deserve a little "shame", too. Looking back over this topic, I can see that I got a little carried away in some of my posts. It's all too easy to go from a reserved and reasoning tone to over-zealousness, especially when a hot-button issue is being discussed.

[ Parent ]

K5 gets political?... (1.00 / 1) (#20)
by dave0 on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 10:28:33 AM EST

dave0 voted 0 on this story.

K5 gets political?

The pro/against guns discussion is ... (3.00 / 1) (#37)
by kahlin on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 10:28:51 AM EST

kahlin voted -1 on this story.

The pro/against guns discussion is completely uninteresting to me as a non-US citizen. I also think that the open-source community don't need to take a stand regarding guns.

Re: The pro/against guns discussion is ... (none / 0) (#55)
by Maclir on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:54:31 PM EST

I could not agree more. Just because some of you 'mericans twist the "right to bear arms" amendment to assuming that any person can maintain their own arsenal of deadly weapons, this is not relevent to the rest of the sane thinking world.

Actually, if the pro gun activists actually took the time to study the history of their own country, the reason why that amendment is there is that in the 18th century, a country maintaining a large standing army was not common - and expensive. So they relied on a well trained citizenry - a militia. Which is what that amendment means. The purpose and intent of the "right to bear arms" is now implemented by the US Army (and other arms of the US Defence forces). So you average John Q. Citizen (more likely Bubba Citizen or Billy-Bob Citizen) does not need a stockpile of weapons.

Have a look ourside your borders - there are many other countries that do not allow their citizens to have unfettered - or even tightly restricted - access to firearms. And guess what - (1) - they are just as "democratic" as the US (often more so) - and (2) - their homicide and other violent crime rates per capita are much lower.

Go figure

[ Parent ]

Re: The pro/against guns discussion is ... (none / 0) (#68)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 02:31:59 AM EST

In the 21st century, Guns don't really make sense in the democratic standing of a country. In fact, if citizens see it fit to stockpile weapons in case they have to overturn their own government, it gives the indication there is little real belief or faith in the democratic process.

If you're unhappy with your government, you vote them out via democratic means, or if there has been gross misconduct the offending people would just be deselected directly.

Also, if you think your little gun is going to make a real difference even if you had to resort to force, it's not going to make an ounce of difference against the sort of weapons the government has today. This is why the "protection from my own government" gag doesn't cut it anymore.

On a secondary note, the NRA advertising campaigns are utterly tasteless, especially with conations with WWII and Jews, it doesn't matter how well armed they could have been, when your up against such a force, it would sadly make little difference.

The NRA certainly have the right to say what they think, however I believe it could be done in a more tasteful manner. For instance they shouldn't be drawing direct correlations between unrelated events in history to the current situation in the US. They should also leave other countries out of their propaganda too, it only makes naïve people express intolerance because they incorrectly believe other countries are undemocratic and oppressed. I believe they published some crap about England when their gun laws were tightened (which incidentally was democratically backed by mass consensus, I should add).

[ Parent ]
Re: The pro/against guns discussion is ... (none / 0) (#90)
by Doug Loss on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 08:30:23 AM EST

"Actually, if the pro gun activists actually took the time to study the history of their own country, the reason why that amendment is there is that in the 18th century, a country maintaining a large standing army was not common - and expensive."

Perhaps you should read some of the commentaries written by the people who wrote these amendments and lobbied for their acceptance. The primary purpose of this amendment wasn't to provide for a quickly-mobilized militia, but for the citizenry to be secure against government tyranny. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, et al, plainly said so. The documents are publically available; start with "The Federalist Papers" and go from there.



[ Parent ]
Geeks against gnus! go slrn! ... (1.00 / 1) (#26)
by Decklin Foster on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 10:43:35 AM EST

Decklin Foster voted 1 on this story.

Geeks against gnus! go slrn! oh... er, nevermind...

Please separate recruitment from di... (1.00 / 1) (#33)
by PresJPolk on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:19:53 AM EST

PresJPolk voted -1 on this story.

Please separate recruitment from discussion, and re-submit.



Re: Please separate recruitment from di... (none / 0) (#77)
by oxidised on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 03:44:33 AM EST

PresJPolk writes: Please separate recruitment from discussion, and re-submit.

This is a reasonable criticism. However, is there room on K5 for road-testing or floating ideas, which is how I saw my post. I was interested to see if anyone else thought it was a reasonable idea. Perhaps I should have phrased it more carefully.
Sincerely, Oxidised.
[ Parent ]

I hate guns, me.... (1.00 / 1) (#14)
by pwhysall on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:41:02 AM EST

pwhysall voted 1 on this story.

I hate guns, me.
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown

This is a good area, as I am fully ... (2.67 / 3) (#1)
by hattig on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 12:17:38 PM EST

hattig voted 1 on this story.

This is a good area, as I am fully against guns. It is a bad analogy, that freedom to use software without worry, and with access to the source code is analogous to the freedom to own and fire guns. The latter implies a certain amount of responsibility.

So if the GPL is to guns (viral, if some people have guns, then other people need guns and so on), then the BSD license is to not having guns (not viral, people are responsible, but still have their freedom). The US is too far gone with its gun laws to reverse things now, as it is obvious that bad people would not hand in their guns, but the good people would, hence any advantage swinging to the bad guy. In Europe, where guns are scarce, it was easier to enforce these gun laws, and the gun crime rate in Europe, and the UK, is so much lower, per head of population and overall. I had a better explanation of that BSD vs. Linux thing earlier, btw.

I just can't see where geeks and guns come together, it seems strange. ESR is a bad spokesman for Open Sourse and Linux in particular. Bill Gates gives millions to charity, Linux advocates shoot guns for fun. I am glad I use FreeBSD now.

Now Paintballing is another thing, or Laserquest. That could call it LinuxQuest or something, and you have to shoot the Bill Gates of Borg people, or whatever turns on the average geek.



Why post an article asking someone ... (3.50 / 2) (#15)
by stripes on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 12:48:22 PM EST

stripes voted -1 on this story.

Why post an article asking someone to start a web site? This would be more intresting if oxidised had just plain started the web site (which can be done for free many places), and was looking for people to write more articles for it.

No thanks. Being geeks doesnt autom... (2.00 / 1) (#18)
by inspire on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 12:54:59 PM EST

inspire voted -1 on this story.

No thanks. Being geeks doesnt automatically give your advocacy group extra legitimacy - whats wrong with the established anti-firearms advocacy groups?

What's next? Geeks for a nuclear-free world?
--
What is the helix?

You could call it Geeks with Knives... (2.00 / 1) (#27)
by Arkady on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 01:04:30 PM EST

Arkady voted 1 on this story.

You could call it Geeks with Knives instead ... But I do agree with you that guns suck. I would be pleased to see a group counterposed to Geeks with Guns.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


I support a project like this fully... (3.00 / 2) (#17)
by erik on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 01:49:45 PM EST

erik voted 1 on this story.

I support a project like this fully. I would be willing to help design and host the site on my server. Oxidised, please contact me if you would like to go ahead with this.

A group calling itself "Gag" that w... (4.66 / 3) (#6)
by Perpetual Newbie on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 02:01:41 PM EST

Perpetual Newbie voted -1 on this story.

A group calling itself "Gag" that wants to censor Mr. Raymond's speech. Are you sure this isn't a joke?

I'm not against guns, but this is a... (1.00 / 1) (#5)
by mattc on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 02:01:50 PM EST

mattc voted 1 on this story.

I'm not against guns, but this is a good idea. People should hear both sides of the debate.

This organization wouldn't get my s... (2.00 / 2) (#25)
by Tr3534 on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 02:08:23 PM EST

Tr3534 voted 1 on this story.

This organization wouldn't get my support, but im voting in favor of the discussion.
Sigmentation Fault: Post Dumped.

I don't agree with the stance (GaG)... (2.00 / 1) (#39)
by yoyoboy on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 02:19:26 PM EST

yoyoboy voted 0 on this story.

I don't agree with the stance (GaG) but I agree with the need...

An interesting discussion on which ... (1.00 / 1) (#40)
by Logan on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 02:22:15 PM EST

Logan voted 1 on this story.

An interesting discussion on which I'd like to make a few points if it makes the main page.

logan

Geeks against guns? How about huma... (2.00 / 1) (#10)
by skim123 on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 02:28:49 PM EST

skim123 voted -1 on this story.

Geeks against guns? How about humanity against guns?

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


I would definitely be for such a si... (3.00 / 1) (#12)
by fluffy grue on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 02:54:28 PM EST

fluffy grue voted 1 on this story.

I would definitely be for such a site. Personally, I hate guns. Not only are most people too stupid and irresponsible to be trusted with them (as they have no training whatsoever), having it as a commonplace object makes people careless with them, which leads to mortal and morbid accidents. The only guns I ever want in MY life are in Quake. ;)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

Wow, I think you're being just a li... (2.00 / 1) (#38)
by iCEBaLM on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 03:15:29 PM EST

iCEBaLM voted -1 on this story.

Wow, I think you're being just a little too radical here. Because of ESR's stance on guns you want him to be kicked off the OSI/VA boards if he doesn't shut up? I'm sorry, but I may not agree with his views, but I will fight to the death for his right to state them.

Re: Wow, I think you're being just a li... (none / 0) (#50)
by mattdm on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:33:46 PM EST

He's welcome to his views. However, he should keep them separate from his "Linux spokesperson" role.

[ Parent ]
Re: Wow, I think you're being just a li... (none / 0) (#56)
by iCEBaLM on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 12:07:38 AM EST

He's welcome to his views. However, he should keep them separate from his "Linux spokesperson" role.

If he thinks the two share common threads then why shouldn't he be able to say so? The real problem here is with stupid people jumping to conclusions with generalizations that the whole community thinks the same way he does.

-- iCEBaLM

[ Parent ]
I'm going to vote for this for the ... (2.00 / 1) (#21)
by warpeightbot on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 03:25:29 PM EST

warpeightbot voted 1 on this story.

I'm going to vote for this for the precise reason that it needs to be publicised and ridiculed for the anti-freedom, anti-American BULLSHIT that it is. Don't suppress bad ideas. Throw them to the four winds, point, and laugh... or cry.

This is a rotten story, but an exce... (3.00 / 1) (#8)
by Skippy on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 03:28:06 PM EST

Skippy voted 1 on this story.

This is a rotten story, but an excellent thing to discuss. Things I find wrong with this story are:

  1. IF you are an American, your right to own a personal firearm is specified in the Constitution. Second Amendment and all that.
  2. There is no such thing as a left-wing libertarian, the concepts are antithetical (<--big word bonus for me :-))
  3. If you want your own ideas to be taken seriously, don't denigrate others ideas as puerile (<--big word bonus for him) which means childish if you are too lazy to look it up
  4. The concept of having BUSINESS associates of ESR censure him for PERSONAL views that you don't happen to agree with is repugnant. Anyone else you want to have big companies shut up?
I don't care for guns and will probably never own one. That doesn't mean that I think no one should be allowed to.

Sorry to cover this again, but the concept bugs me no end. You can't be a left-wing libertarian anarchist. Anarchists believe in NO government meaning I can do what I want (including owning a gun) and you can go stuff yourself. Libertarians believe in only necessary government that can show a public good as its reason to exist. Since you can argue both sides (for guns and for gun control) have are a public good, no gun control law would be passed. Please take a political science class and stop spouting nonsense.
# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #

business vs. personal (4.00 / 1) (#48)
by mattdm on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:29:09 PM EST

The problem is that ESR often doesn't keep his personal views separate from his business ones. He's got the limelight as a basically self-proclaimed linux spokesperson, and he uses it to push his other agenda.

[ Parent ]
Re: business vs. personal (none / 0) (#58)
by Skippy on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 12:25:38 AM EST

So make him remove .sigs (as I read here he has done) from press releases and make him keep the two separate. If he hasn't been doing that he needs to be made to.

That is not, however, what I interpret the posters suggestion to be. What I read is that the two companies disavow ESR completely and then also distance themselves from his views and that is wrong.
# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #
[ Parent ]

The constitution (none / 0) (#49)
by mattdm on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:32:35 PM EST

The second amendment is fine and all, but it is anacronistic. These days, the government has tactical nukes -- and really big "conventional" weapons. The intent of the second amendment is to allow citizens to protect themselves from government -- and personal firearms are no longer a meaningful way to do that.

In fact, I'd argue that these days, the right to use encryption is a much more meaningful, useful, and relevant application of the second amendment.

[ Parent ]
Re: The constitution (none / 0) (#57)
by Skippy on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 12:22:15 AM EST

So the second amendment is anachronistic. If you want to, write your congressperson to start a congressional referrendum to have it removed. You can't just ignore it even if it IS anachronistic.

And, since the government has classified encryption as arms, you are most correct in your suggestion that the second amendment be applied.
# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #
[ Parent ]

Re: The constitution (none / 0) (#60)
by mattdm on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 12:47:54 AM EST

I'm not suggesting that the constitution be ignored. It might be reasonable to change it -- a large step and a lot of work. (As well as not something to be taken lightly.)

It's worth mentioning that SOME arms are already restricted, despite the second amendment. You're not allowed to have your own nuclear bombs, for example.

Anyway, none of that means we shouldn't talk about being against guns. Thanks to the first amendment, that's completely allowed.



[ Parent ]
Re: The constitution (none / 0) (#114)
by Zarniwoop on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 02:54:11 PM EST

You're absolutely right about personal firearms not being a meaningful way to protect onesself from the government.

I want freedom to own and operate a tactical nuclear weapon ;)

Standard Disclaimer: I am not a megalomainiac. I don't like MAD, nor the idea of nuclear civil war. Put the flamethrower down.

[ Parent ]

Re: The constitution (none / 0) (#134)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 10:58:51 AM EST

If you look at the recent history of guerilla warfare you'll find that's not that case. Guerillas with small arms have been quite successful in the last few decades.

[ Parent ]
Re: The constitution (none / 0) (#141)
by mattdm on Sun Jun 25, 2000 at 03:42:56 PM EST

In the US?

[ Parent ]
but what are arms exactly? (none / 0) (#61)
by abe1x on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 01:02:36 AM EST

Problem with the second amendment is that "arms" is not defined at all. Arms today and in the 18th century are quite differently. The founding fathers were talking about the right to carry muskets and pistols that had nothing like the killing power of today's arms. How long does it take to empty a Glock? 1 second? 2 seconds? I believe it holds 17 bullets and basically can be emptied and reloaded in the same amount of time (if not less) it took to fire a single bullet and reload a 18th century gun. Add in a much greater penetration power, increased accuracy and greater range and your have an entirely different firearm then what Jefferson and company were talking about. I don't think its much to say that a single individual with a glock now holds in his hands as much power as 17 revolutionary war soldiers.

[ Parent ]
Re: but what are arms exactly? (none / 0) (#133)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 10:56:33 AM EST

I don't think its much to say that a single individual with a glock now holds in his hands as much power as 17 revolutionary war soldiers.

But not near as much as a 18th century privateer with a ship full of cannons, which was perfectly legal for private citizens to own back in those days, even though they were the heaviest weapons available.

[ Parent ]

but what are arms exactly? (none / 0) (#62)
by abe1x on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 01:14:32 AM EST

Problem with the second amendment is that "arms" is not defined at all. Arms today and in the 18th century are quite differently. The founding fathers were talking about the right to carry muskets and pistols that had nothing like the killing power of today's arms. How long does it take to empty a Glock? 1 second? 2 seconds? I believe it holds 17 bullets and basically can be emptied and reloaded in the same amount of time (if not less) it took to fire a single bullet and reload a 18th century gun. Add in a much greater penetration power, increased accuracy and greater range and your have an entirely different firearm then what Jefferson and company were talking about. I don't think its much to say that a single individual with a glock now holds in his hands as much power as 17 revolutionary war soldiers.

[ Parent ]
Re: but what are arms exactly? (none / 0) (#111)
by cpt kangarooski on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 01:57:43 PM EST

No, the framers were talking about the fact that freedom is ultimately ensured by your willingness and ability to defend that freedom from those who would encroach upon it. The means are irrelevant. While they can't ensure the will, they did ensure the ability.

During and prior to the Revolutionary War the various militas bought, built, stole and stockpiled artillery pieces like cannons. The reason for the battles of Concord and Lexington in 1775 was because the British army was secretly attempting to confiscate a cache of cannon and power. They defeated the militiamen at Lexington, but were repelled at Concord and harrassed by small groups of shooters until they could get back to (iirc) Cambridge.

I think that the framers would be disturbed at some of the really nasty weapons we've developed - biological and nuclear ones. But I don't think that they'd advocate for a minute getting rid of our ability to use them as long as they help to defend ourselves.

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
"Left-Wing Libertarian" (3.00 / 1) (#100)
by WattsMartin on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 10:57:51 AM EST

Sorry to nitpick, but "libertarian" originally was a quite left-wing term. The modern use in America is really, well, modern. Originally libertarians were not only anarchic, but for the most part decidedly anticapitalist--a corporate state is still a state. Anarchy is not "no government," it is stateless government, a belief that any separation into classes of the governing and the governed eventually will lead to oligarchy. The common thread in libertarian then and libertarian now is the insistence on personal authority and personal liberty. So, yes, there were, and still are, left-wing libertarians. As much as I'm sure it would horrify ESR and members of the Libertarian Party, there are even socialist libertarians--remember, socialism is not a form of government, it's a form of economics, and if you believe that capitalism leads to oligarchy and you believe oligarchy is bad, you're going to be against capitalism. (Or at least decidedly critical of it.)

[ Parent ]
Re: "Left-Wing Libertarian" (none / 0) (#128)
by Digambaranath on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 03:20:46 AM EST

Good point. I know many words in American politics have different meanings (e.g. "Liberal", "Conservative") but that doesn't mean that whichever shade of meaning happens to be popular n america at the moment has to be accepted as a definition by the rest of the world. And even in the US, there are people (e.g. Noam Chomsky) who would describe themselves as "Left Libertarians" or "Libertarian Socialsts". I would take the latter term to be something like a milder version of an anarcho-communist, though many would disagree, I'm sure.

What interests me is why so many geeks are libertarians - whether right or left - rather than Platonic technocrats, which is what you might expect.

[ Parent ]
Way too biased for my tastes. If yo... (2.00 / 1) (#29)
by DemiGodez on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 03:54:18 PM EST

DemiGodez voted -1 on this story.

Way too biased for my tastes. If you want to start a political action committee, I'd prefer it happen elsewhere.

Interesting, but one thing we need ... (3.00 / 1) (#2)
by Inoshiro on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 04:11:39 PM EST

Inoshiro voted 1 on this story.

Interesting, but one thing we need more of is tollerance. So Eric likes guns. So what? Guns can be fun -- i know I play counter-strike for Half-Life because of the detailed and realistic gun models in it. So what if outsiders think something different? It all boils down to -- why are you wanting to change this? Are you embarrased of what others think, or afraid of Eric?

--
[ イノシロ ]

guns suck...... (1.00 / 1) (#19)
by Raymond on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 04:32:07 PM EST

Raymond voted 1 on this story.

guns suck...
----- Someone you trust is one of us...

almost all the activists i know are... (2.00 / 1) (#36)
by kellan on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 04:45:33 PM EST

kellan voted 1 on this story.

almost all the activists i know are computer geeks w/ day jobs, or who pay for their left habits with the occasional consulting jobs. i think we should definitely have a place where left geeks can get together.

also if any left geeks are reading this, and want something to work on, we always need more help over at www.indymedia.org.

Advocating your opinion is fine. At... (3.70 / 3) (#32)
by adamsc on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 04:51:28 PM EST

adamsc voted -1 on this story.

Advocating your opinion is fine. Attempting to prevent others from doing so is bad. A self-proclaimed libertarian and anarchist attempting to prevent someone else from advocating his beliefs would be extremely funny if oxidised didn't appear to be serious. I'd also recommend that the author set up something first before posting about it. Remember that we're geeks and would much prefer a detailed, factual response to pro-gun owner claims instead of "Eeew. I don't like guns.".

I like guns....but it has nothing t... (2.00 / 1) (#3)
by davidu on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 05:46:09 PM EST

davidu voted 1 on this story.

I like guns....but it has nothing to do with me being a geek....they are seperate and should remain so.

An interesting idea, but I think yo... (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by JJC on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 05:53:08 PM EST

JJC voted 1 on this story.

An interesting idea, but I think your suggestions are perhaps a little too harsh. I do wish that open source/free software would keep their politics seperate (you'll notice that RMS' page is very political as well) but to be honest I think we can all choose to ignore it if we want to so they should be free to say what they want. I suppose it's quite understandable that those most vocal about open source/free software are also most vocal about their political views. Also, your opening comments are a bit strange, isn't the idea of libertarianism to reject the left and right wing polarisation of politics?

Re: An interesting idea, but I think yo... (none / 0) (#46)
by driph on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:19:24 PM EST

I do wish that open source/free software would keep their politics seperate

Unfortunately, the open source/free software movement is VERY political to many people involved. And it's pretty tough to be political and active about something without straying to other issues you believe in as well..

--
Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
[ Parent ]
at least... (4.00 / 1) (#47)
by mattdm on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:26:52 PM EST

That's RMS's personal page. Everything political on the FSF/GNU site is strictly software related. Unfortunately, Eric Raymond doesn't seem to follow this separation very well. For example, his press releases often carry pro-gun messages in the .sig.

[ Parent ]
www.stallman.org is a parody site (none / 0) (#78)
by AndrewH on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 03:57:10 AM EST

The real one is at www.gnu.org


John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr — where are you now that we need you?
[ Parent ]
Re: www.stallman.org is a parody site (none / 0) (#116)
by JJC on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 04:16:17 PM EST

Are you sure about that? It doesn't look much like a parody to me, plus it's linked from the GNU people page.

[ Parent ]
'...and to make the point that not ... (3.00 / 1) (#34)
by feline on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 06:23:55 PM EST

feline voted 1 on this story.

'...and to make the point that not all geek are right-wing libertarians and anarchists...'

I really don't see why there has to be a geeks against guns site to declare this, couldn't a 'geeks for the safe use during recreation with guns' declare that we aren't all anarchists?
------------------------------------------

'Hello sir, you don't look like someone who satisfies his wife.'

Sure, but the acronym "gag" is a bi... (4.00 / 2) (#28)
by Fyndalf on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 08:29:23 PM EST

Fyndalf voted 1 on this story.

Sure, but the acronym "gag" is a bit unfortunate.

Re: Sure, but the acronym (none / 0) (#75)
by Loki on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 03:37:58 AM EST

"Sure, but the acronym "gag" is a bit unfortunate."

"Mr Raymond ceases-and-desists his public pro-gun activities (such as the GwG events and his pro-gun ownership pages which are juxtaposed to the widely-read open source writings on his personal web site) "

Seems pretty accurate to me. Even if I was a gungrabbing nut, this would seem like it's going a bit too far. First the second amendment, then the first?

[ Parent ]
Re: Sure, but the acronym (none / 0) (#84)
by hypatia on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 05:54:46 AM EST

First the second amendment, then the first?

Shoudln't this read first the right to bear arms, then the right to free speech?

I know this has been said already in another thread, but the issue isn't just a US one. The article's author is not proposing to GAG the US constitution, but to promote the idea that not all geeks are pro-gun freedom, in fact, some are pro-strcit gun control.

If the intent of the group is to promote gun control and associated geeks in general, it is irrelevant to point out the conflict with the US constitution, as 'international' geeks simply don't care. The author won't mind either if not from the US.

[ Parent ]

I think this topic has already been... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
by Anonymous 242 on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 09:13:41 PM EST

lee_malatesta voted -1 on this story.

I think this topic has already been sufficiently covered in the ESR is pro-gun flamefest. I do think that gag would be a good idea and have taken the liberty of creating an egroup mailing list to hopefully get some people talking about actually putting this idea into action. But I don't think that we need to go through the whole discussion on the K5 front page all over.

I'm am highly interested in joining/helping start a Geeks Against Guns movement. Anyone intersted in making this reality can visit the lame egroup web page at: http://www.egroups.com/group/geeksagainstguns.

People can also subscribe by sending mail to geeksagainstguns-subscribe@egroups.com

You should email Bruce Perens. If m... (3.00 / 1) (#13)
by your_desired_username on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 09:46:23 PM EST

your_desired_username voted 1 on this story.

You should email Bruce Perens. If memory serves, he favors gun control.

I strongly disagree with your post,... (3.20 / 6) (#22)
by magney on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 10:21:03 PM EST

magney voted 1 on this story.

I strongly disagree with your post, but will defend to the death your right to post it. :-)

Do I look like I speak for my employer?

Geeks against guns (2.00 / 1) (#43)
by pope nihil on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 10:34:03 PM EST

hey, you do what you want. personally, i think guns are a good thing. why do so many people have a problem with guns? they are good for defense, and (although it isn't PC to say it) they are good chlorine in the gene pool.

I voted.

Geeks don't know everything ... (3.70 / 3) (#44)
by esQuire on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 10:46:18 PM EST

Richard Feynman once said that scientists are generally as wrong as anybody else outside their area of expertise. I find this to be remarkably true in the online "geek" community. Whether for or against gun control, geeks, as well as most of the lay community, simply do not understand the issues and the law.

Libratarian, very bookish. (3.00 / 1) (#45)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:10:36 PM EST

I'm a geek. Definitely. I'm not against guns per say. But what I am against is associating guns with geeks in any way. And I'm afraid thats what GwG ends up doing even if thats not really what they mean.

This rant may offend some people... (4.00 / 1) (#54)
by Anonymous Hero on Sun Jun 18, 2000 at 11:48:53 PM EST

Firstly, I'm not an American.

Secondly, my main problem with the American attitude towards guns is the way in which it influences other things.

Out here on the Internet ( which is a global medium ), this seems to have translated from "the right of the citizens to bear arms" to "the right of script kiddies to bear security compromising toolz".

This is one of the reasons why the gun control debate in the USA is something that many of us have very little patience for. Strictly speaking, it's a local issue that Americans need to deal with for themselves that we have very little interest in.

In practical terms, it's a matter that we all have to deal with, and hence the extreme animosity that those of us from other parts of the world often express towards it. For many of us, the pro-gun attitude and the behaviour that it results in is simply unacceptable.

You might be strangling my chicken, but you don't want to know what I'm doing to your hampster.



Re: This rant may offend some people... (none / 0) (#63)
by mar1boro on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 01:17:03 AM EST

note: I agree, wrong forum. Getting a little /. like here.

Yes, I found it offensive. It is your right, however, to rant on any topic you wish, at almost anytime you wish, pretty much wherever the urge strikes you to do so, and in any manner you propose (as long as you don't start killing people and blowing things to pieces*); as long as you live here, in America.

It has become quite fashionable in certain circles here, and has been outside our borders for quite some time, to blame all the world's ills on America. These people would like me to shut up. However "shutting-up" those who disagree with my (or another's) beliefs is a distinctly non-American/un-American activity I find repugnant. Asking them to shut-up, in a polite manner of course, is acceptable.

*this right (the violent part) was actually spelled out quite eloquently by our Founding Fathers in a document called the Declaration of Independence.

[ Parent ]
Re: This rant may offend some people... (none / 0) (#71)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 02:46:52 AM EST

It is your right, however, to rant on any topic you wish, at almost anytime you wish, pretty much wherever the urge strikes you to do so, and in any manner you propose .... as long as you live here, in America.

Are you trying to say you can't do this anywhere else but America? Parts of the world outside of the US are actually civilised too, amazing isn't it?

For centuries authors sought refuge in London to create and publish their works because of the laws governing free speech, I'm afraid it's not just an American thing which was invented around the 18 hundreds, which the rest of the world followed, quite the opposite infact.

People could go out and proclaim "The King Stinks" for hundreds of years without fear of retribution, such statements might not of been inline with public opinion at the time, but you certainly wouldn't be beheaded for saying it.

[ Parent ]
Re: This rant may offend some people... (none / 0) (#79)
by mar1boro on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 03:58:23 AM EST

If I was not precise enough, then I apologise. Of course I was not saying that you have no right or ability to exercise free speach if you do not live in the United States of America. I am fairly sure that you knew this before replying to my comment

The point I (apparently without success) was trying to make;

We (U.S. citizens) do have this right (not implying anything about anyone else/any other culture/any other group defined by gender, race, creed, or nationality), and that if persons of non-American extraction (or American extraction for that matter) do not wish to participate in whatever debate is occuring, they should not feel compelled to do so.

Any sarcasm presented in my previous post was merely a device used to commit an attack on the digital representations made by the personage who had offended me.

I think I'll sit the rest of this one out. You guys go ahead. I'll let you know when I find a new place where we can talk about cutting edge technology and coding again. Being politically correct is too much damn work.

ciao

[ Parent ]
Re: This rant may offend some people... (none / 0) (#94)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 08:57:59 AM EST

I believe what he is saying here is that in America it's a right - most everywhere else (yes, including London) it's a privilege. It may be codified, protected, and "Guaranteed" but it's still revokable. The American government was formed by the people to protect their rights. It (supposedly) has only those powers granted to it by it's people. Monarchies, most other democracies, Communist governments, and dictatorships (did I miss any?) may allow free speech, gun ownership, and other natural rights but it is a privilege, granted by a higher power (the rulers), which can be taken away. In America, the higher power is the people. (Yes, we now vary wildly from that ideal... bureaucracy overcomes all :-( )
The Soviet Union had a constitution. It listed a number of rights for it's people. The big difference is that it granted those rights, not protected them.
It's interesting (at least for us Americans) to note that in a current legal case in a U.S. court (UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN v. TIMOTHY JOE EMERSON - Emerson won in the lower court, the government is appealing) the government's attorney said that the U.S. government had the right to take anyones guns away. He maintained that the second ammendment is effectively superceded by another part of the constitution... the Commerce clause..
Why don't they just go for "He doesn't have the right"? Because the U.S. constitution is a limit on the government - not on the man. He does have the right. That is the concept that was codified about 225 years ago in America. I believe that's what he means by the phrase "It is your right... as long as you live in America."

[ Parent ]
Re: This rant may offend some people... (none / 0) (#105)
by Aztech on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 11:57:15 AM EST

I understand your point about something being given as a privilege and something being protected from being given away, however in a practical sense, what real difference does it make today? Freedom of speech in Britain has been around for centuries and is just as strong as in the US, if Westminster or a Monarch tried to revoke the citizen’s charter, I’m sure blood would run in the streets, the government would be deselected in its entirety for acting undemocratically or the monarchy would be overthrown.

The queen has little power over anything anyway, it appears as if she has absolute power, because bills still have to be given royal ascent by the queen in order for them to become law and many things appear to be granted by "privilege", however these are just customaries and traditions that have been passed down, the monarch has little other choice but go along with the wishes of the government (i.e. her people). The British constitution is a sort of perpetual trust that relies on the notion of a sort of gentleman’s agreement. However, all laws and even the US constitution rely on the same trust mechanism in the same way, even though the US constitution is explicitly written down, it still relies on the trust that people will continue to obey it, other than that it’s nothing but a piece of paper.

If a government was really set on introducing draconian measures, they’d do so anyway and ignore any rules preventing them from doing so, yes, even the sacred constitution, after all, this is a piece of paper, what power does it have when you have an oppressive government take over wishing to introduce oppressive polices, they’re simply not going to turn around and say, “oh dear, this piece of paper prevents me from doing this, ohh damm”. What power does it have then?

This entirely hypothetical anyway because an oppressive government wouldn’t be democratically supported, and therefore have little regard for the rule of law, secondly a piece of paper isn’t going to stop a lunatic government from doing crazy things because they would simply disregard it.


[ Parent ]
Re: This rant may offend some people... (none / 0) (#82)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 04:55:52 AM EST

I suppose the main reason why this produced this response in me is simply because of the discussions that I have been having in RL with some people.

I think that most of us are aware of a growing degree of 'culture shock' out here as more and more people from different parts of the world come online, and the way that some people tend to react to it.

In combination with the increasing availability of pre-canned cracking tools, I can't help but wonder where we will be in even two years time. Will we see christian and muslin fundementalist script kiddies engaging in large scale "cyber jihads"? As time goes by, the divisions out here seem to be getting worse and worse, rather then better.

I'll admit that my point of view is probably pessimistic in the extreme and that I may well be reading far too much into some things than is warrented, but a number of the current trends aren't very encouraging.

Anyway, I guess that I better stop rambling and get back to what I'm supposed to be doing.

You might be strangling my chicken, but you don't want to know what I'm doing to your hampster.



[ Parent ]

Re: This rant may offend some people... (4.00 / 1) (#69)
by Pseudonymous Coward on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 02:33:57 AM EST

... this seems to have translated from "the right of the citizens to bear arms" to "the right of script kiddies to bear security compromising toolz".

First of all, I think the right to possess any software for which you are legally licensed or have written with your own hand is unalienable -- the purpose of that software is irrelevant. It's not a good thing to legislate against citizen property. That's midway down the slippery slope. It's far better to legislate against antisocial behavior. I'm entitled to, for example, as many copies of BO as I care to keep around. I'm not entitled to use it irresponsibly. Skript Kiddie behavior is blatantly illegal. The tools aren't, and should not be.

It's plain you aren't American, because this concept is central to spirit and intent of the United States constitution. Many people in other parts of the world don't have -- and therefore don't quite understand the nuances of -- a system of law as explicit about citizens' rights as that in the US. Don't get me wrong: the US is not a utopia and its constitution isn't a panacea, but the system of law is very carefully thought out with the intent of restricting the government's ability to stand in the way of citizens' activities so long as those activities aren't harmful to society. It doesn't work as well as it could. In fact, those intents are often violated, ignored or misrepresented. But the system does work.

With that in mind, I propose: "Geeks Indifferent to Guns and Other Inanimate Objects."

There is far too much hysteria on both sides of the quintessentially American firearm argument -- often more so when voices in the international community join in -- with far too little focus on the issues of responsible vs. irresponsible behavior. Worried about violent crime? Fix criminal behavior. Worried about unsafe firearm/automobile/alcohol use? Fix unsafe behavior.

[ Parent ]

Re: This rant may offend some people... (none / 0) (#72)
by Aztech on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 02:58:52 AM EST

I believe the gun laws are an American issue, which should be treated as a domestic issue. I'm not sure where you got the impression about international community's standpoint on this, I know for one Europe hasn't spoke out proclaiming the US should be a gun free utopia, in fact they have been all altogether silent on the subject.

Obviously if you look at the gun laws in Europe, it's not hard to work out what they might be thinking, however they're not forcing the same laws down anyone else's throat.

In fact, people in Europe are largely indifferent towards guns, it's not an issue that is raised or thought about much. However the US seems to be obsessed with them, the posting of two gun related stories on K5 within hours of each other illustrates that point perfectly.


[ Parent ]
Yes, Microsoft will protect us all (none / 0) (#140)
by Anonymous Hero on Sat Jun 24, 2000 at 12:57:58 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Does this mean... (4.00 / 1) (#59)
by Grimster on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 12:30:58 AM EST

that I have to tear up my concealed weapons permit?

Being a "geek" means I often work late, work weekends, holidays, whatever it takes. I love to wear rose colored glasses as much as the next guy but let's face it, shit happens and when it does I don't want to be the one taking a Palm III to a gunfight.

Gun control is hitting what you're aiming at.
Gun control is missing the innocent bystanders.
Gun control is learning safety and practicing safety.
Gun control is not giving up your right to defend yourself as you see fit.
--- Do Not Click! Grimster
Great idea (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by Ticker on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 01:21:49 AM EST

I think if there's a Geeks for Guns, we might as well have a Geeks Against Guns too. I do not fit the right-wing stereotype of geeks, and I don't like being associated with gun wackos like Eric S. Raymond. So if there was a Geeks Against Guns (please rethink the acronym, though.. perhaps Geeks For Gun Control or Geeks for Safe Streets would be better names. It's always better to be FOR something rather than against as well.

but I think it's a great idea and would like to get involved.

Here in Canada, gun control is now VERY tight. you will soon need a license to acquire firearms and ammunition or possess a gun, and you'll need a registration certificate for your firearm. In addition, if you hunt, you'll need a hunting license too. I think all of these protections are good. The more people have guns, the more endangered others feel and the more people go out and buy more guns. This develops into a cycle of more guns and more violence, one that needs to be broken. I understand it's also very hard to get a handgun here and that licenses here in Canada are NEVER granted for the purpose of "personal protection", the rational being that the police have the guns and it's their job to protect you. INnother words, legal guns in Canada are exclusively licensed for the purpose of hunting game, sport shooting, and collecting.

Un-Restricted Firearms are shotguns and rifles and easy to get if you pass the test and a background check shows you okay
Restricted Firearms are handguns and are much harder to get
Prohibited Firearms are automatic guns, assault rifles (whether they fire automatic or not), handguns with barrels of 105mm or less, .25 or .32 calibre handguns, etc.

What I don't undersand is why you can get a .45 calibre gun, but not a .32.. anyone who knows anything about guns know why that might be? My understanding is that the larger the calibre, the larger the diameter of the bullet, hence the more damage it tends to make (not putting into account velocity/force of the bullet).

This might be why (none / 0) (#65)
by Toojays on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 01:51:02 AM EST

You might find that the restriction on some of the handguns isn't actually because of the size of the bullet, but the size of the magazine. Guns with smaller bullets often tend to have larger capacity magazines. When the new gun restictions were put in place here in Australia, large magazines were one of the obvious things to get rid of since the idea is that you can't shoot as many people if you have to stop and reload (remember the context was in response to the largest massacre by a single man).

[ Parent ]
Re: This might be why (none / 0) (#137)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Jun 21, 2000 at 01:52:21 AM EST

Guns with smaller bullets often tend to have larger capacity magazines.
Yeah, right. More likely is that the smaller guns are cheaper and easier for the 'common' person to buy. A few attempts in the US to ban Saturday Night Specials (really cheap pistols) were overturned.
When the new gun restictions were put in place here in Australia, large magazines were one of the obvious things to get rid of since the idea is that you can't shoot as many people if you have to stop and reload (remember the context was in response to the largest massacre by a single man).
Uh, don't know how to break it to you, but I've got several 70 round drum magazines for my Ak47. I guess that puts me on some kind of short list to go bonkers and try to reenact some massacre.

However, even with the new whimpy 10 round mags in the .us, all you have to do is buy lots of them and pre-load them. It doesn't take much time to drop an empty clip and slam in a new one. ( less than a second )

You know, I don't mind the fscking bastards that are whole heartedly against any kind of firearm, because at least they are honest about it (and about their view of how our government would be better off if it was run their way). They don't need a reason, to them, its just bad.

But the bastards that nit-pick, and get things like bayonet lugs (!!!), pistol grips, flash suppressors, etc, etc, banned really piss me off.

What, are they frightened someone is going to stab them with a bayonet? Get real. They are really dumb features to waste energy over. Why not do something good (from their point of view) and go for the whole shebang?

-ps. I just shot my first full-auto weapon this weekend. A mp5. Verrry nice. Goes thru a 30-round mag before you can blink. The 3 round burst is probably more useful.



[ Parent ]

Re: Great idea (none / 0) (#95)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 09:24:43 AM EST

Incidentally, there have been a number of court cases in the U.S. in which the police were sued by crime victims for being negligent in protecting them (due to slow response to 911 calls, stuff like that). In every case the courts ruled that the police do not have a responsibility to protect citizens.

[ Parent ]
Re: Great idea (none / 0) (#99)
by Wolfkin on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 10:54:13 AM EST

(please rethink the acronym, though.. perhaps Geeks For Gun Control or Geeks for Safe Streets would be better names.

LOL. "Geeks for Safe Streets" would be the same as "Geeks with Guns", though. Make up your mind: safe streets or gun control.

Wolfkin.

[ Parent ]

Re: Great idea (none / 0) (#130)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 06:13:45 AM EST

All these self-righteous comments that contain "Here in X country, gun control is very tight, and we don't have any gun problems" overlook the fundamental point that applying gun controls a la your country to the US will do practically nothing in the short term. I appreciate the fact that here in England I don't really have to worry about criminals carrying guns and I therefore feel less need to carry one myself, but that is the result of many, many years of gun control. Even if the US government prevented a single gun from being sold legally ever again, there are so many firearms in existence, and they are so durable (advantages of low-tech!) that it would take a hundred years or more for there to be an appreciable effect. The genie is out of the bottle. I don't know what can be done about it, but it seems obvious that gun control per se will not be a quick fix.

[ Parent ]
I can't believe this... (5.00 / 2) (#70)
by Potsy on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 02:38:50 AM EST

Look at the very first goal listed in the original story:
Mr Raymond ceases-and-desists his public pro-gun activities (such as the GwG events...
I really can't believe you are talking about creating a group whose major goals include stopping a particular person from exercising his rights to free speech and freedom of association. That doesn't sound very "left-wing" to me -- I think a better word would be "fascist".

As another poster pointed out, it's ironic that the proposed group's abbreviation is "GAG".

Re: I can't believe this... (none / 0) (#73)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 03:15:38 AM EST

You cannot project political views or stand points onto a two dimensional plain like that, it's not as simple as proclaiming something to be fascist or communist, it's much more complex than that. In fact, it's fickle of you to believe something is either one or the other; nothing is black or white like that.

[ Parent ]
Re: I can't believe this... (none / 0) (#89)
by Doug Loss on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 08:13:56 AM EST

"nothing is black or white like that."

Actually, this is. ESR has a Constitutionally-guaranteed right to say whatever he wants, regardless of how much anyone else dislikes it, so long as he isn't advocating the violent overthrow of the government or something like that. If fascist bothers you so much, how about "P.C."? They usually amount to the same thing.



[ Parent ]
Re: I can't believe this... (none / 0) (#103)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 11:17:46 AM EST

You’re missing the point, I don’t think anyone here is actually censor ESR, also you have to remember a group against guns also has the same rights to free speech as everyone else, so this is a non-issue. Just because a certain faction doesn’t agree with the status quo doesn’t mean they’re "fascists", they also have the same rights to express themselves however they wish, even if people don’t agree with them. They’re just saying, "We happen not to agree with you, we have the right to say that, but we’re not trying stop you from saying anything in return", they're not trying to censor anyone.

My concern was your willingness to proclaim something "fascist" or "communist" at a drop of a hat, in a very two dimensional way, however things don’t work out like that, you can have people with a very libertarian standpoint who actually appear to be fascist because of certain views they hold.

I believe many people were brainwashed during the Cold War and were taught to fear things they don’t actually understand anyway, so whenever something doesn’t make sense to them, they proclaim it to be "fascist" or "communist" with little understanding of it, or even the distinction between the two.


[ Parent ]
Re: I can't believe this... (none / 0) (#118)
by Potsy on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 06:05:20 PM EST

I don’t think anyone here is actually censor ESR...

Actually, as I pointed out in my initial post, that is exactly what the first stated goal of the proposal says. Read it again, and look carefully at the "cease-and-decist" goal. It does not put any conditions on it at all. It says, without qualification, that the group would be intent on stopping ESR from engaging in the public activities of GwG completely. No matter what Oxidized has said in later posts, that is what the original story says. It unambiguously advocates censorship. That is what I object to.

[ Parent ]

Re: I can't believe this... (none / 0) (#119)
by Potsy on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 06:19:08 PM EST

I never said it was black and white. I said that "a better word would be" fascism. I believe the proposal outlined more closely fits the definition of fascism than left-wing. That does not in any way imply that those are the only two choices.

[ Parent ]
Re: I can't believe this... (none / 0) (#81)
by oxidised on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 04:06:49 AM EST

Potsy writes:

Look at the very first goal listed in the original story: Mr Raymond ceases-and-desists his public pro-gun activities (such as the GwG events... I really can't believe you are talking about creating a group whose major goals include stopping a particular person from exercising his rights to free speech and freedom of association. That doesn't sound very "left-wing" to me -- I think a better word would be "fascist". As another poster pointed out, it's ironic that the proposed group's abbreviation is "GAG".

The point is that Mr Raymond occupies a position (some, although not me, would say self-proclaimed) as a prominent promoter of the open source software movement. There is no denying that his various papers on open source have been very influential.

With such a public position comes some responsibilities, one of which is to assiduously ensure that his position of influence is not used to promote causes which have nothing to do with open source software. The corollary of this is to ensure that the open source software movement is not incorrectly associated with particular political views or with advocacy for particular causes (such as the unrestricted freedom to own and carry firearms).

Mr Raymond has clearly ignored these responsibilities. However, we are not suggesting that he stop shooting guns. However, he definitely should stop using his name, particularly in conjunction with Linux or open source events, to promote the dubious joys of gun ownership and operation. Similarly, I am not suggesting that he shouldn't have personal Web pages which expound his personal views and which sing the praises of hobbies such as shooting high powered weapons. However, these Web pages should not be available closely linked to the authoritative versions of some very influential essays on open source.

Try this. Go to Google and type in "Eric S. Raymond". The first hit which is returned will take you to his "Eric's Random Writings" page. Now scroll down the page.
Sincerely, Oxidised.
[ Parent ]

Re: I can't believe this... (none / 0) (#96)
by Zach on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 09:41:53 AM EST

Just like gun control has nothing to do with a technology news site?



[ Parent ]
Re: I can't believe this... (none / 0) (#109)
by wildmage on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 01:20:12 PM EST

>However, he definitely should stop using his name, particularly in >conjunction with Linux or open source events, to promote the dubious joys of gun ownership >and operation. How can you tell someone not to use his name to promote what he believes? Wildamge

-------------
Jacob Everist
Memoirs of a Mad Scientist
Near-Earth Asteroid Mining

[ Parent ]

Re: I can't believe this... (none / 0) (#117)
by Potsy on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 05:47:47 PM EST

You didn't say you wanted him to disassociate the one activity from the other, you said you wanted him to "cease-and-decist" completely. Your justification has nothing to do with your proposal!

[ Parent ]
Re: I can't believe this... (4.00 / 1) (#123)
by Potsy on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 08:07:44 PM EST

Similarly, I am not suggesting that he shouldn't have personal Web pages which expound his personal views and which sing the praises of hobbies such as shooting high powered weapons.

That's not what the original story says. It lists "Mr Raymond ceases-and-desists his public pro-gun activities" as the very first goal. That's a pretty sweeping statement. Are you saying that a personal web page doesn't fall into the category of "public" activity? Why not? After all, a web page is there for all the world to see. Seems to me that unless you modify your original statement, it will include any kind of public statement at all, including a personal web page.

Have you now changed your mind and decided you merely want him to disassociate those views from his open source advocacy? Why did you not say that in the first place?

However, these Web pages should not be available closely linked to the authoritative versions of some very influential essays on open source.

Why not? The same person wrote both of them.

If you are talking about expressing your views in order to point out that not all geeks are in favor of gun rights, that's one thing. If you are talking about trying to suppress someone else's viewpoint, that's another thing entirely. It's the latter that I object to, not the former. The way your original story is worded, I don't think it can reasonably be interpreted as anything but the latter.

I anticipate that you will simply post a reply and say "I am not trying to suppress his views", but I think you should go back and read over what you said in your original story very carefully. To suggest that someone should stop all "public" activity with regards to a certain viewpoint is an attempt to suppress their view. What else would you call it?

[ Parent ]

Re: I can't believe this... (none / 0) (#135)
by matthead on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 03:59:53 PM EST

... I am not suggesting that he shouldn't have personal Web pages which expound his personal views and which sing the praises of hobbies such as shooting high powered weapons. However, these Web pages should not be available closely linked to the authoritative versions of some very influential essays on open source.

Ahem... *cough*Bullshit!

[Go to] "Eric's Random Writings" page. Now scroll down the page.

I presume this is meant to point out how ESR tries to, um, infect innocents with the idea that any decent open-source advocate likes guns, too? Right.... perhaps you failed to notice the section headers on said page: "Open Source and Hacker Anthropology" has such articles as The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Homesteading the Noosphere... hardly pro-anarchy, pro-gun, pro-shooting, pro-whatever-the-hell-you-arent. Next comes a section entitled "Technical Writings", followed by "Opinion and Ideas." Perhaps you don't think "Opinion and Ideas" is a clear enough label?

Are you a fuckwit?


--
- Matt
I'm at (0.3, -2.5). Where are you?
[ Parent ]
Geeks Without Guns (4.00 / 1) (#80)
by palou on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 04:00:56 AM EST

I would personally feel more comfortable with something like "Geeks Without Guns". It emphasyzes the separation about being a geek and the gun issue.
I may have my opinions about guns, but what really bothers me about this whole thing is the tying of the two issues. My respect for ESR has gone down a lot by him associating the two issues. He has shown to care more for his personal agenda that for open source (free!) software. It's quite amazing to think that he's supposedly the person that decidied to make this type of software more attractive to the mainstream and to "clean up" its fringe image.
I don't care if anybody personally loves guns or hates them, but I care with the issue being associated with others that don't have anything to do with them and that can be hurt by that.
Ignasi.

Freedom of expression...or else? (4.00 / 1) (#86)
by noek on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 07:32:42 AM EST

If you are that much against someone expressing his personal view on guns, you could better start a site called Geeks Against Freedom of Speech.

Also I would have liked to see a example of the site you propose, and ask us to contribute to this. Instead of asking us to set up such a thing. Like i have not enough to do in my life already.

My personal opinion is that guns should be forbidden. If you would like him to stop expressing his views there are better ways to do this. Like bringing down his website.

Personally I am not bothered with the fact that this person associates guns with geeks. Ppl will know this is just one person. In my experience ppl regulary see geeks as keyboard swaying nerds. Net gun specialists ready to force their views upon the world with lead.

typo : "not gun specialists" (none / 0) (#88)
by noek on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 07:44:12 AM EST

typo sorry.

[ Parent ]
::sigh:: (4.00 / 1) (#87)
by WWWWolf on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 07:33:30 AM EST

::sigh:: Silly Americans and their silly concerns... =)

(Following is just a more or less clever observation with nothing general; I'm not saying yea or nay to the original message's question...)

Waitwaitwaitwait. I've seen all this happening before.

Suppose there's group of Zbleeks who Zbleek happily under the same sky. Then, it seems that the number of Zbleeks who are also interested about BlaX is increasing. The Zbleeks who also do BlaX say what they're doing isn't exactly harmful (might be, more or less, in some sense), but do admit that non-Zbleeks will certainly consider BlaXing kind of eccentric.

Then, non-BlaX Zbleeks form a group that oppose BlaX, some of them form a group that are pro-BlaX, and then, we have a merry fight going on among the non-BlaX Zbleeks...

...and the non-Zbleeks look over, say "what the Hell they're fighting for?"

Trust me. I've seen many times, many many times in various situation this happening, or something similiar.

All we need is a splinter group of people, who do something that someone somewhere might someday frown upon, and someone with right mind in the larger group will get very, very, very concerned about that and try to a) sweep it under the carpet (suffice to say that Lying Isn't Best PR) or b) form a group that try to change the (usually nonexistent) people's image that all of the group are like that splinter group.

In our case, people probably haven't even heard of "geeks with guns"; imagine the revelation when people are told that. "(chuckle) Oh, I see the Revenge Of The Nerds approaching..." or maybe "Duh, big deal". Who knows. People will have an opinion. It may not be favorable, but who cares.

The result, in latter situation, is that the splinter group will get more attention - exactly the opposite effect. "Hello. I'm a Zbleek, and I oppose BlaXing. What, you haven't heard of us Zbleeks? Oh, never mind, I'll tell you - but repeat after me, we're not into BlaXing, we're not into BlaXing..." See?

Or, the third choice is c), try to say "yes, they do that, but most of us don't." It would often work; however, most people don't see that as an option.

If you've followed my Usenet misadventures, you probably know what I'm really talking about. If you don't, don't try to find out or you'll laugh at the people's general lunacy. =)

Personally, I couldn't care less about the gun control issue - I'm not even living that way, I'm in Finland where we don't have a "gun problem" I don't see any connection with ESR's gun hobby and geekery in general; I doubt many people do, either. I don't see the point of forming a faction that just draws more attention to the problem - if it even is a problem...

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


Re: ::sigh:: (none / 0) (#139)
by Anonymous Hero on Sat Jun 24, 2000 at 12:51:51 PM EST

the reason people live in finland or japan or australia or anywhere else and not worry about guns or some other issue is because someone somewhere else fought for their right to blax. ahde@kfalls.net

[ Parent ]
Like we need another Littleton-style press? (2.00 / 1) (#93)
by jonr on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 08:45:14 AM EST

Mr. Raymond should keep his intersts/opions seperate, you will not see me advocating mountain biking here! :)
The last thing we need after the Littleton fiasco, is another reason for the press to 'profile' geeks as gun-toting maniacs. My respect for ESR is getting pretty close to 0.0. I mean, using a OS event for advocating guns as a hobby? Hello? Knock-knock! Mr. Raymond, do you have a clue!? Think the possibilities for the tabloids! "Eric S. Raymond training secret geek army of Linux zealots!"
I'll guess that I will read ESR's rant's with slightly more suspicious mind (not the word I was looking for, but close) :)

J.

Re: Like we need another Littleton-style press? (none / 0) (#101)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 11:01:21 AM EST

You, sir, are precisely the reason we need guns. The liberal mindset finds some emotional argument to demonize those over whom they cannot get power otherwise, and seeks to marginalize them as somehow less than human for using their heads instead of feeling. Then you come for us with your jackbooted thugs (cf. Elian) and expect us not to shoot back.

Snicker.

I'm going to tell you something, mister. You can try all you want to. You can legislate us and our unalienable rights into oblivion... and we will retire to places like Montana, and Andrews, NC, and places God has forgotten about, and it'll be like the Kurds in Afghanistan. You Will Lose. Badly.

All we want is to be left alone, and to be allowed to construct a safe place to practice for the day which we really, truly, hope never comes. Nothing else do we want from your kind. You will be left to live out your little lives in peace and bad Barry Manilow songs.

Go 'way, kid, you bother me.

[ Parent ]

Right to bear arms.... (3.00 / 1) (#97)
by Cryptnotic on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 09:59:52 AM EST

The right to bear arms which some of us, as citizens of the United States, have, is a joke. It is the last fascade that the country we live in gives its citizens actual real freedom to think for themselves and to protect themselves. Other countries, such as Japan, England, Germany, have given up trying to fool their people into thinking that they are free. Why does the U.S. continue to do so?

Almost any freedom that you have right now can easily be taken away.

The right to bear arms is slightly different. Gun rights advocists often tout the notion that having guns is the last defense against a tyranical government. Well, I've got news for you: The government is tyranical, and there's nothing you can do about it.

We are sheep, herded for our tax dollars. That's all.



Is this a troll? (3.30 / 3) (#98)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 10:24:47 AM EST


I almost think that this is a troll, given the title of the group (Gag), and the blatant position of trying to make a person stop discussing his personal stance:

"Mr Raymond ceases-and-desists his public pro-gun activities (such as the GwG events and his pro-gun ownership pages which are juxtaposed to the widely-read open source writings on his personal web site)"

As it is, several sysadmins in my area get together for beer (and mead) tasting parties. They just happen to all share a love of brewing. One of the first usenet groups (back when usenet had a much lower acceptance level than Open Source) was devoted to the music and followers of the Grateful Dead.

Both of these activities can be viewed as "Drugs and Alcohol", "Society's Evil that Must Be Stamped Out".

But realistically, they are just hobbies that people enjoy.

So Eric likes guns. It's his private site. So he like to join up, informally and unofficially, with fellow gun enthusiasts at conventions he goes to. I've met several Linux fans at Anime conventions, and we've organized impromtu "How to watch videos under Linux". A group of SubGenius fans have been talking about holding a devival at a Rocky Horror Convention, and seeing how many people enjoy it. Two very different groups, but many members cross.

As far as I can see, many people are asking Eric to compromise what he believes in and stop doing what he enjoys. I doubt gun enthusiasts are asking him to "stop that stupid Open Source stuff - it's commie propoganda, and just plain wrong". So why are the Open Source and Free Software enthusiasts telling him "stop that stupid gun activities - it's homocidal behaviour, and just plain wrong".

The man is an adult - let him do and say what he believes in. Otherwise, just cut his pay. ;)

--
Evan

Re: Is this a troll? (4.00 / 1) (#106)
by vanix on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 12:32:44 PM EST

The man is an adult - let him do and say what he believes in.
Amen, and while we're at it, what ever happened to people taking in other's opinions and drawing their own conclusions? I don't appreciate people trying to "protect" me from ESR's opinions, or anybody else's for that matter.

[ Parent ]
Hey all you gun-hating pillow biters! (3.00 / 3) (#102)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 11:17:21 AM EST

Think about this: Armed men are citizens. Unarmed men are subjects. Which are you?

Re: Hey all you gun-hating pillow biters! (none / 0) (#112)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 02:17:50 PM EST

Armed men are citizens? Since when does arming oneself = citizenship? Weapons are too easy anyways. Especially guns. Makes the entire act of substantial violence *much too attainable* for the common man (read You) and much more attainable for the common criminal (read Anyone pointing a gun at You). Much better to ban the damn things, stop their manufacture, and beat the hell out of each other with fists.

[ Parent ]
Re: Hey all you gun-hating pillow biters! (5.00 / 1) (#124)
by kraant on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 09:10:36 PM EST

Since when does arming oneself = citizenship?

Not taking sides here....

But the right and duty to arm oneself (as opposed to being armed by the state in times of war) is one which extends back to classical greece and republican rome

So the citizens = armed... subjects = unarmed thing isn't a meme that can be erased just by clicking your fingers

Remember that joke about sheep and systems of government? ;) Think about how a republic is described in it...

daniel "MemeWars"
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...
[ Parent ]

Re: Hey all you gun-hating pillow biters! (5.00 / 1) (#126)
by entrippy on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:57:05 AM EST

Be that as it may - the meme is not necessarily right. It shouldn't be supported simply because it's got history...

After all - the ancient Greeks and Romans did a lot of other things, which would nowadays be seen as an abomination (certainlly by the person who started this thread - as he evidently meant 'pillow biter' to be an insult).

All ideas, no matter how entrenched, require consideration.

[ Parent ]

Re: Hey all you gun-hating pillow biters! (none / 0) (#132)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 10:47:55 AM EST

This is fine unless you're a 100 pound women attempting to defeat an attempted rape.

[ Parent ]
for the idea, against the implementation (3.00 / 3) (#104)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 11:44:57 AM EST

I love the idea of geeks against guns. I despise the violence and murder brought by well-meaning but ignorant (and stubborn) gun fans. Sign me up! {rainbowfyre@hotmail.com}.
On the other hand, that should not be the same as geeks against esr. He has done some great things, and continues to contribute a lot to Open Source. He may have been wrong in combining his interests, but he has a perfect right to have those interests. I would not put my name on any attack against him, especially not directed at his professional endeavours.
Also, change the acronym!! :)

OMG (none / 0) (#142)
by geekswithguns on Thu Sep 13, 2001 at 09:52:22 AM EST

OMG! I can't believe your ignorance. You "dispise the violence and murder brought by well-meaning but ignorant... gun fans."?

I assure you, oh ignorant one, that it isn't the well-meaning gun fans who commit these crimes. It's the criminals.

I find your ignorance offensive and unnessisary.

http://www.geekswithguns.com
Head Geek In Charge - GeeksWithGuns.com
[ Parent ]
Gimme a break (2.00 / 1) (#107)
by vanix on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 12:42:44 PM EST

I've read 5 comments in a row of people whining about how they don't want to be associated with ESR because of his stance on guns. Don't worry, J. Random Luser, nobody is associating you with ESR. By the way, if you think you can be against the right to bear arms and be a [Ll]ibertarian, you're fooling yourself.

Metacomment (1.00 / 1) (#108)
by vanix on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 12:53:16 PM EST

Several people have posted to comment that they are not interested in this issue. I guess they're lying, because if they're not interested why did they take the time to read the story and post?

Ugh - lo-tech! (4.66 / 3) (#113)
by Digambaranath on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 02:34:40 PM EST

Guns are just the kind of intermediate technology (like cars) that make me go "Ugh, how inelegant." I mean, mashing a few chemicals together to propel a lump of metal so as to make a hole in somebody is so lo-tech, I'd rather use a sword. Rather than gun-lobbying, geeks would be better off advocating more elegant and less destructive methods of personal protection. "Phasers on stun ..."

Re: Ugh - lo-tech! (none / 0) (#138)
by orthox on Wed Jun 21, 2000 at 02:45:55 PM EST

How about a gauss rifle? No more chemicals...

[ Parent ]
bah (3.00 / 1) (#115)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 04:03:12 PM EST

I will not join anything that's main goal is to silence another.

Personally I think that guns shouldn't be taken away, tho I believe to own a gun one should have to take some level of training (both in use of and in securing).

I'm not a 'gun-nut' by any means, I don't even own one. But I don't think that banning the, or that taking someone's right to own a gun is a good idea.

Once one right on the bill is removed, by 'popular' opinion, how long is it before other's are removed.

I'm doing my best not to use any of the cliches about owning guns, and the NRA sure as hell scares me sometimes, but really, as a Libertarian (card carrying!) I believe in the right of the people to possess guns.

whatever. People are unable to look past their dogma about hte situation on either side.

Geeks against guns - Nahhh (4.00 / 2) (#121)
by AbMan on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 07:32:48 PM EST

I posted on the earlier GWG thread as an AH. In a nutshell, my stance was a belief that one has a right to self defense and freedom of thought, but that ESR's public (yes, it's public enough) blurring of the line between Open Source advocacy and his own political agenda was egotistical and unprofessional.

But I can't support a concerted attempt to silence him. Sure he comes across as self-important and bombastic, but that sort of person makes a good advocate. His attitude to mixing his interests is IMHO a mark against him, but overall he comes in on the plus side with what he's trying to do for open source. If you think he's doing it wrong, maybe you can show (not tell) us how it *should* be done?

If you want to set up your site, fine, but make it an anti-gun site, not an anti-ESR site. Don't mix your agenda.

Your remarks about "geeks who like to get their jollies from explosively propelled projectiles ... associated with homicide, suicide, genocide, armed robbery, high school massacres and so on as guns so often are." come pretty close to ad hominem attacks. Not all gun ownership advocates are people with inferiority complexes or people who get off on loud noises and killing. This sort of snide, petty remark guarantees the sort of low IQ readership (tree huggers instead of gun nuts) for your proposed site that some of the more rabid pro-gun sites attract.


This is kind of silly... (2.00 / 1) (#122)
by billvinson on Mon Jun 19, 2000 at 07:59:23 PM EST

I think any time geeks try to associate themselves with guns or against guns it just looks silly as the two do not go together.

I am against most gun control and favor the right to own guns but I also believe in gun safety and common sense. The majority of gun crimes committed are already covered under a piece of existing law. Most events that raise gun control comments consist of individuals that have already broken numerous gun laws...Unfortunately the current administration of the Presidency chooses to not enforce and punish these crimes.

I believe that everyone has the right to believe what they want, but to link geeks and guns is odd in my opinion (humble as it may be :) Bill

Nice idea, badly put (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by entrippy on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 12:33:48 AM EST

Let me firstly say that I'm from .au, and therefore don't have much day to day exposure to what is referred to (rightly or wrongly) as the 'gun problem'. We *have* had a massacre here, which resulted in a slight tightening of the gun laws, however by capita we have nowhere near as many gun related deaths as America. Then again, nowhere does.

To suggest that the ease of avaliability of firearms in .us does not contribute to the high number of gun related deaths is naive in the extreme. To think that instituting radical gun restrictions will fix that problem is equally foolish.

ESR has spent a lot of time proselytising for what he believes in. Whether that be Opensource or guns, it's his willingness to stand up for his opinions that has got him to where he is today. As an individual, he's done some great work.

If you disagree with his position, then you have three viable options.
1) Whine and tell him to shut up
2) Whine and do nothing
3) Proselytise
I'm all in favour of a group following option three - although I think an individual would do the job as well, if not better. However, there is no way I would join the proposed GaG for the simple reason that I fear being associated with people in catagorys one and two.

If GaG can come up with a broad, well defined manifesto that I agree with, then I'll leap for the opportunity to sign up. However, I suspect they'll have a loose collection of rhetoric and flamage, if the initial aims are anything to go from. And thats not something I'm willing to put my name to.

Reservations... (3.00 / 1) (#127)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 01:51:45 AM EST

First off, it appears that this poster doesn't understand the meaning of free speech. Free speech works both ways. This means that if person A can advocate for gun control, person B has every right to advocate against gun control. While I am definitely _NOT_ for any form of gun control, I am not going to attempt to force people who are for it to "cease and desist" their public anti-gun activities; that is not my right. It is also not anybody else's right to try to silence ESR. If you don't like what he says, don't whine and complain; use the same public forums to advocate your own viewpoint, nobody's stopping you.

I have to say that I find this post disappointing. This is the kind of post that I normally expect to see at that other place.

Russell Tope
( r_tope@linuxstart.com )

If it's not good enough for your name, it's not good enough to post.
(IMHO)

Safer without (3.00 / 1) (#136)
by OscarIommi on Tue Jun 20, 2000 at 05:55:24 PM EST

I would feel safer without a gun walking through a drugnest (where ever one would find one) here in sweden than armed with a gun on a street in the US.

What does that say? (and skip the lame "that you're a wimp")


Geeks against Guns, anyone? | 141 comments (141 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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